Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines has bragged about killing drug dealers, and has been accused of encouraging thousands of vigilante killings. But President Trump invited him to the White House.
Vladimir Putin is alleged to have ordered the murders of journalists. Trump calls him a strong leader, and says America does a lot of killing, too.
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The Trump administration may not have a coherent foreign policy yet, but one theme is emerging: The president seems to have a soft spot for despots.
Experts say Trump's embrace of political strongmen is sending a message that the U.S. is abandoning its longstanding position as a defender of human rights and democracy around the world.
"We're looking at a president who appears to align himself with autocrats, undermine the rule of law and is taking a step back from critical multilateral institutions," said Sarah Margon, Washington director of Human Rights Watch. "He's signaling to partners, allies and even adversaries that human rights are not a key part of his foreign policy."
It's not just Trump's rhetoric. Breaking from years of tradition, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson skipped the State Department's March release of its annual human rights report. He also lifted human rights conditions on the sale of arms to Bahrain, and declined to meet with dissidents on his first trip to Russia. The administration has threatened to quit the UN Human Rights Council, which experts call a flawed body that has nonetheless achieved some gains.